German soldier who posed as Syrian refugee to face new terror trial

Lt Franco Albrecht visisted Sandhurst as a guest of the British army in 2014, three years before his arrest on terror charges - Private
Lt Franco Albrecht visisted Sandhurst as a guest of the British army in 2014, three years before his arrest on terror charges - Private

A German soldier who lived a double life posing as a Syrian refugee is to face a new trial on charges of planning a far-Right terror attack.

Lieutenant Franco Albrecht spent more than a year posing as a Christian refugee from Syria, and was given a place in a German government refugee shelter.

Prosecutors allege he was planning to assassinate high-profile figures in a false flag terror attack and pin the blame on the fictitious Syrian.

The original terror charges against Lt Albrecht were dismissed for lack of evidence in a court hearing last year, but Germany’s highest criminal court this week upheld a prosecution appeal and ordered a new trial.

Lt Albrecht’s arrest in 2017 stunned Germany and made headlines around the world. As a high-flying cadet officer, he trained at France’s prestigious St Cyr Military academy under an exchange programme and was entertained as a guest of the British army at Sandhurst.

Lt Albrecht’s defence lawyers say he masqueraded as a refugee in order to expose the shortcomings of the German asylum system and its failure properly to identify those entering the country. They deny that he was planning a terror attack

Picture shows: Lt Franco Albrecht (left) alongside British cadets at Sandhurst in 2014. Albrecht, the German army officer arrested for masqueraing as a refugee and accused of planning a false flag terror attack, has spoken out publicly for the first time this week. Sourced by Justin Huggler - Credit: Private
Lt Albrecht was a guest at Sandhurst while he was training as part of an exchange programme at France's prestigious St Cyr military academy Credit: Private

Germany’s federal court of justice ruled this week that there is sufficient evidence to support the charge Lt Albrecht was planning to assassinate public figures and ordered that he must face it in court.

But it ruled there was no evidence to support the charge that he was planning to pin the blame for an attack on Syrian refugees.

Prosecutors allege that Lt Albrecht procured firearms and ammunition and prepared a list of possible assassinations targets including Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, former President Joachim Gauck and Anetta Kahane, a prominent human rights activist.

They allege he scoped out a car park near the activist's office as a possible assassination site.

Lawyers for Lt Albrecht deny the allegations and say he obtained weapons as a member of the “prepper” scene. They say the alleged “death list” is a list of people the soldier wished to contact to discuss the political situation, and that he only visited the car park in an attempt to meet Ms Kahane.

Lawyers for the soldier have not commented on this week’s decision by the appeals court. Lt Albrecht has been suspended from duty but remains an officer in the German army until the case is resolved.

A date for a new trial has not yet been set.